ISPs join Rudd’s filter crusade

The Government is seeking expressions of interest from ISPs to participate in trials of their internet filtering program. According to a spokesperson from Senator Conroy’s office, the trial will be crucial to discover the cost of implementing the program.

To date, the government has allocated $125.8 million for a range of internet security initiatives, including the filtering program, over four years.

According to reports in the Australian, $49 million of the allocation has been slated for online law enforcement, with the rest of the allocation to be split between web filtering, research and development and international collaboration and education programs.

Some industry pundits believe internet users, not ISPs, could be forced to subsidise the program, with early estimates pointing to $60 million a year.

Earlier this year, a closed trial of web filtering products was conducted at a Telstra lab in Tasmania. 26 ISP based web filter products were submitted for review, however only six made the grade. Whilst Senator conropy hailed teh trail as a success, insiders suggested the results were actually negative as most filters couldn’t identify illegal content when using non web offerings such as instant messaging.

Source: The Australian.